Celebrating the life of Doris Sue Kennedy
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Her toughness came from growing up one of eight children in a sharecropper family and working the fields of southwest Oklahoma during the 1950s. But with that grit came a love of church and helping others, taking food to those in need and visiting friends in nursing homes.
She was on her way home from attending church in Altus Saturday night, Aug. 20, 2022 when her car and another vehicle collided, ending her life at the age of 82.
She was born Doris Sue Gambill on March 25, 1940, along with her twin. Her parents, O.D. and Alice Gambill, were farmers in Hugo, Oklahoma but later moved the family to Hollis, Jester and Jaybuckle. She attended school in Reed before moving to Mangum around 1954.
Her sister Lois recalled how she and Doris would be placed on blankets at the side of a field while her mother and father each worked a team of horses, plowing fields in the hot days of summer while keeping an eye on the white-headed twins.
As a young adult, Doris worked as a waitress at Sam’s Café but life changed when she married Raymond Kennedy in 1971. He was in the Air Force stationed in Altus but was transferred to Hickam Field in Hawaii. The family went with him. Hickam was a famous site due to the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941. Hickam was bombed by the Japanese, killing nearly 200 and igniting America’s entry into the second world war.
As Vietnam began to wind down, Doris and Raymond, along with their three daughters – Cindy, Diana and Susan – moved briefly to California before moving back to Mangum where Raymond intended to retire after 25 years in the Air Force. He was planning to open a cafeteria.
But on Dec. 22, 1973, just 10 days before his scheduled retirement, Doris’s life changed again when Raymond died of a heart attack at age 43.
She spent much of her retirement spending time with her children and grandchildren. And sharing differences of opinion with her sisters and brothers.
Doris is survived by daughters Cindy Oden and husband, Jan Ivan of Altus; Diana Wolff and husband, Robert of Vernon, TX; Susan Kyle and husband, Steve of Mangum; brothers Carl Ray Gambill of Mangum and Gordan Gambill of Altus; sisters Ruth Morris, Lois McDonald and Lillian Wilson, all of Mangum; grandchildren Jandi McLaughlin and husband, Mitch of Blair; Dustin Kyle and wife Lori of Willow; Joel Oden and wife, Makinzie of Altus; Derrick Kyle and wife, Melanie of Hollis; William Wolff and wife, Yadi of Irving, TX; Zachary Wolff of Irving; Dacie Kyle and Hunter Dennis, both of Mangum; and great-grandchildren Kamri Kyle, Asher McLaughlin, Klayton Seddon, Kaisa Kyle, Jalea McLaughlin, Klaira Kyle, Lakely Oden, Kross Kyle and Raelynn Wolff; and special friend, Carl Bitz; and close friends Gary and Marilyn McLaughlin; and many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by husband Raymond; father O.D. Gambill, and mother, Alice (Kendrix) Gambill; brother Levi Gambill, and sister Estelle Weaver.
Visitation will be Wednesday, August 24, 2022 from 6-8 p.m. at Greer’s Funeral Home in Mangum.
Funeral service will be 3 p.m. Thursday, August 25, at First Baptist Church in Mangum. Graveside service will follow at Riverside Cemetery in Mangum.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to On Mission, Operation Care, Altus.
To send flowers in memory of Doris Sue Kennedy, visit the Tribute Store.
235 South Pennsylvania
Mangum, OK 73554
Mangum, OK 73554
715 South Penn
Mangum , Ok 73554